Col. Mandy Birch is the Mobilization Assistant to the Air Force Director of Civil Engineers, Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia. She is responsible for providing policy and oversight for the planning, development, construction, maintenance, utilities, and environmental quality of 183 Air Force bases worldwide valued at more than 346 billion dollars. This responsibility includes housing, fire emergency services, explosive ordnance disposal, and emergency management services. She also influences resourcing for installation support functions with an annual budget of 11 billion dollars and is the focal point for organizing, training and equipping a 51,000-person engineering force.
Colonel Birch earned her commission as a distinguished graduate from the United States Air Force Academy in 1996 and holds master’s degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and Air University. She is a Level III Joint Qualified Officer and a licensed professional engineer who has served on six headquarters staffs and in a range of research and base-level engineer assignments including squadron command. Colonel Birch is also a Foreign Area Officer with international affairs, acquisition, and partnership brokering certifications. While deployed she was the commander of a joint and multinational team in the Lake Chad region as well as the U.S. Liaison to French Operation BARKHANE.
Prior to her current position, Colonel Birch was the Individual Mobilization Augmentee to the Deputy Director of Logistics, Engineering, and Force Protection at Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command.
In her civilian career, she is a senior executive in the quantum computing industry.
1995 Exchange Student, Ecole de l’Air (French Air Force Academy), Salon-de-Provence, France
1996 Distinguished Graduate, Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and engineering sciences with a French minor, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1998 Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.
2001 Distinguished Graduate, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2008 Distinguished Graduate, Master of Military Operational Art and Science, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2011 Outstanding Graduate, Air War College, by correspondence, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2012 Partnership Brokers Training Level 1, International Business Leaders Forum, London, United Kingdom
2015 NATO Senior Officer Policy Course, Oberammergau, Germany
2015 Global Master of Arts degree, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Medford, Mass.
2016 Joint and Combined Warfighting School, National Defense University, Norfolk, Va.
2017 Reserve Component National Security Course, National Defense University, Washington, D.C.
2017 National Security Executive Leadership Seminar, Foreign Service Institute, Department of State, Arlington, Va.
2022 Enterprise Leadership Seminar, University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School, Chapel Hill, N.C.
1. May 1996–May 1998, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Air Force Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.
2. June 1998–January 2001, Digital Simulation Engineer, then Systems Integration Engineer, and later Executive Officer, Munitions Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Eglin AFB, Fla.
3. February 2001–May 2002, Chief, Base Development Element, 3rd Civil Engineer Squadron, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska
4. June 2002–September 2005, Deputy Engineering Flight Chief then Operations Flight Commander, 89th Civil Engineer Squadron, Andrews AFB, Md.
5. October 2005–August 2007, Expeditionary Engineer Program Manager, Office of The Civil Engineer, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, The Pentagon, Washington, D.C. with duties assigned also at Headquarters U.S. Air Forces Central Command, Shaw AFB, S.C.
6. August 2007–June 2008, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
7. July 2008–April 2013, Commander then Individual Mobilization Augmentee to the Commander, 4th Civil Engineer Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C. with duties assigned also as Author/Editor, Center for Strategy and Technology, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
8. May 2013–April 2014, Deputy Commander, 4th Mission Support Group, Seymour Johnson AFB, NC with duties assigned also as Partnership Broker, Air Force Community Partnership Initiative, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment, and Energy, The Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
9. May 2014–September 2014, Director of Installations and Contracting, United States Air Forces Central Command, Shaw AFB, S.C.
10. September 2014–September 2017, Director, Civil-Military Training Policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, The Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
11. October 2017–September 2019, Deputy Director of Logistics, Engineering, and Force Protection, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe and U.S. Air Forces Africa, Ramstein AB, Germany with duties assigned also as Global Head of Engineer Command and Control Teams, 822nd Civil Engineer Flight, Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas
12. June 2018–December 2018, Chief, Cell for Coordination and Liaison, Multinational Joint Task Force, Lake Chad, plus U.S. AFRICOM Liaison to French Operation BARKHANE, United States Africa Command, N'Djamena, Chad
13. October 2019–April 2021, Individual Mobilization Augmentee to the Deputy Director of Logistics, Engineering, and Force Protection, Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command, Robins AFB, Ga.
14. May 2021–present, Mobilization Assistant to the Air Force Director of Civil Engineers, Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Engineering, and Force Protection, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, The Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. September 2014–September 2017, Director, Civil-Military Training Policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Washington, D.C., as a colonel
2. June 2018–December 2018, Chief, Cell for Coordination and Liaison, Multinational Joint Task Force, Lake Chad, plus U.S. Liaison to French Operation BARKHANE, N’Djamena, Chad, as a colonel
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Joint Meritorious Unit Award with oak leaf cluster
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
1996 U.S. Air Force Academy Outstanding Cadet in Engineering Sciences
1996 Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society
2000 Air Force Research Laboratory Company Grade Officer of the Year Award
2006 Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Office of the Civil Engineer, IMA of the Year Award
2008 Lt Gen John M. Nowak Logistics Research Award
2010 Society of American Military Engineers Curtin Award (large unit)
2012 Air Combat Command Women’s History Month Foreign Language & STEM Role Model Award
2016 Reserve Officers Association Writing Award
2017 Air Force Athlete Hall of Fame
Experimental Determination of the Viscoelastic Properties of the Human Fingerpad, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, June 1998
Waste to Watts and Water: Enabling Self-Contained Facilities Using Microbial Fuel Cells, Air University, June 2008
“Microbial Fuel Cells: Converting Waste to Water and Watts,” Resource: Engineering & Technology for a Sustainable World, January 2010
Finding the Shape of Space, Air University, July 2011
“Microbial Fuel Cells: Converting Waste to Water and Watts,” Biomass Products & Technology, October 2011
“Engineering Concrete Solutions” with Bob Hankins and Rob Lydon, Air Force Civil Engineer, Vol. 21, No. 2, 2013
“Waste to Watts and Water” in Future Trends and U.S. National Security, January 2015
A Framework to Debate Democratic Quality and the Military-Industrial Complex, Tufts University, March 2015
“The Role of State Actors in Cybersecurity: Can State Actors Find Their Role in Cyberspace?” with Seunghwan Yeo and Jörgen Bengtsson, in National Security and Counterintelligence in the Era of Cyber Espionage, 2015
Talent and the American Civil-Military Bargain, National Defense University, July 2016
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 29, 1996
First Lieutenant May 29, 1998
Captain May 29, 2000
Major May 29, 2004
Lieutenant Colonel Aug. 11, 2009
Colonel May 19, 2014
(Current as of March 2022)